ST. LOUIS • A Ferguson man on probation for illegal possession of drugs and weapons was charged Sunday in a drive-by shooting of a 4-year-old girl in the city’s Dutchtown neighborhood last week.
Nathaniel J. Pool, 23, of the 100 block of Fermo Avenue, was charged with seven counts of first-degree assault and seven counts of armed criminal action. Pool was being held in lieu of a $200,000 cash bail.
Police say Pool fired shots from a passing car about 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the 4700 block of Louisiana Avenue. Police said the girl and her mother were walking up the front steps of a house when Pool fired shots at them.
The girl was an unintended target of the drive-by shooting, and police believe the intended victim was standing among a group of people nearby, police said. The girl was released from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center on Friday.
The girl’s relatives whisked her into a car and drove away, police said. They said a patrol officer noticed the car speeding, stopped it, put the girl in the squad car and took her to the hospital.
A man at the home on Louisiana on Sunday said the girl was shot in the left shoulder but didn’t know it until she got to Cardinal Glennon. After she was stabilized, she talked to her father on the phone and told him, “the blue car shot me,” he said.
The man, who declined to give his name, said he was the one who drove the girl from the scene, and disputed that a police officer stopped him. He said he flagged down an officer after making a U-turn at South Grand Boulevard and Meramec Street.
Police said two people who were apparent targets of the shooting identified Pool as the gunman.
Court records indicate Pool was sentenced in November 2011 to two years’ unsupervised probation after pleading guilty to possessing marijuana, drug paraphernalia and an illegal weapon. He was granted a “suspended imposition of sentence,” which would have wiped clean his record if he had successfully completed probation.
Jeremy Kohler of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.